By staff columnist, Alexandra Deluise
Clarity Money Review – This App is On Fire
In its first week, 40,000 users downloaded the Clarity Money app. This Clarity Money Review delves into what’s great about Clarity Money, and what’s not.
In the beta test, Clarity Money saved users an average of $300 per year by slashing wasteful spending.
According to the BusinessWire press release Clarity Money has already analyzed $5 billion in transactions and saved users over $300,000 in cancelled subscriptions, in its first month.
Newly launched Clarity Money is your financial advocate. Although not a typical robo-advisor, it does have an automated saving component, to help you save more money. Founded by Adam Dell, the company wants to help solve the financial literacy crisis.
Clarity Money, a budget management and planning app, is standing out as an attractive option for smartphone users looking for easy control over their financial lives.
What is Clarity Money?
Clarity Money is like having a personal banker in your pocket. This app is currently only available on iOS devices, although an Android version is anticipated in early 2017. The app is an all-in-one answer to any financial question you have. From savings accounts to unwanted monthly payments, Clarity Money is there to help you get started.
For the most part, the app is free. Clarity Money keeps the app free by making referrals to their partners who sell services such as debt consolidation, or products such as credit cards. However, the company states that the only products and services they will recommend are those which help improve your financial situation.
Partnership Between Clarity Money and Acorns
In a newly formed partnership, Clarity Money customers can use Acorns’ automated investing features. And Acorns investors are able to see a snapshot of their investing activity in the Clarity Money app. Partnering up creates benefits for both Clarity Money and Acorns users. If this arrangement can get more people investing and saving money, then it’s a great thing!
What are the Main Features?
The list of promising features is incredible! This app seems to be designed to do it all. Clarity Money accesses your financial accounts, analyzes your spending, and keeps track of recurring bills you can either eliminate or reduce, promotes credit cards that offer you the best bonuses based on your spending habits, and even sets up savings accounts for you.
What are the Free Clarity Money Features?
Everything else is free, which is amazing. The free features include:
- Product referrals. The app uses your purchasing history to make sound suggestions for services you may be interested in. This may include credit cards, loan consolidation, or other services that make sense based on your own unique needs.
- Savings accounts. Clarity Money will divert a portion of your money each month to a savings account based on your goals. They use the “set it and forget it” philosophy to help you buy that new car or save for retirement.
- Monthly subscription cancellation. This part is pretty cool. Clarity Money can actually cancel your gym membership! No more excuses about not having enough time to cancel – now you can eliminate unnecessary costs quickly and easily.
- Spending tracker. No good budgeting app would be complete without a way to see where you spend your money. Clarity Money gives you percentage breakdowns of your spending categories, and keeps you on track with your budget.
- Support team. There is a chat feature that allows users to chat with a support team any time. This feature can be used for troubleshooting, or to figure out how to make Clarity Money meet your unique financial needs.
- Yes, you can even get a home improvement loan through Clarity Money. Since the app is designed with your best interests in mind, Clarity Money draws on its connections with high profile lenders to help you score a low-interest loan.
What are the Paid Features?
The good news is that most of Clarity Money’s features are free. The company makes its money from commissions by referring you to their partners; however, the company is adamant that their commission does not impact the types of services they offer. The goal is sound financial advice, not a profit at your expense!
One feature that you will pay for is bill negotiation. If you use Clarity Money to negotiate bills for you, they will charge a portion of the money they help you to save—33% to be exact. This seems like a high amount, but consider this: if you save $100 on one bill and Clarity Money takes $33, you are still saving $67 yourself. On top of that, you save the time it would take to negotiate this bill.
Pros and Cons of Clarity Money
Clarity Money Pros
The positive aspects of Clarity Money are numerous. The fantastic free features speak for themselves. Each one can help people pay better attention to their finances, and, if used frequently, can drastically improve one’s financial health. The wide spread of options also means that the service you need is available immediately. No more searching around for another app or financial professional to help you.
Ease of use is another benefit to using Clarity Money. Everything is on the go these days, and your finances shouldn’t be the exception to that rule. When your savings accounts, spending habits, and debt information are all accessible in one place, you are more likely to make smart financial decisions instead of spur-of-the-moment purchases.
The app saves you a lot of time in terms of identifying and canceling unnecessary recurring bills. For a one-time fee, Clarity Money will even go through the hassle of helping you reduce your recurring bills. I know many people who would gladly pay someone to do that for them!
Clarity Money Cons
Of course there are limitations to the app.
Clarity Money does offer customer support teams, but the human touch is largely absent. That may not be a problem for most people, particularly those who are used to virtual banking, but it may certainly be a stumbling block when looking for specific financial advice. In this case, you would need to branch out and find a robo-advisor or a human financial planner.
Though I believe the people behind Clarity Money are sincere when they promise not to sell you products or services that will not directly benefit you, it is still essential that you do your own research before deciding to make a purchase. The app is based on science and algorithms that help you to make smart choices, but it is no substitute for your own intuition about your finances.
I signed up for Clarity Money in under 5 minutes and linked my main credit card, put in my income and had useful data. Next, I’ll link my bank account and see what I can save!
In sum, Clarity Money promises to be a useful, engaging app, that is quite competitive compared to others that offer similar (and often fewer!) services. The all-in-one, portable approach to finances meets the needs of everyday people, from entrepreneurs to CEOs alike. By putting all of your finances in the palm of your hand, Clarity Money is providing people with a tool to meet their financial goals quickly, effectively, and easily.
Staff columnist Alexandra DeLuise combines her banking experience with real-world financial advice to provide simple money tips to everyday people.
Updated: February 1, 2017